Tuesday, February 14th, 2017


Mike Drop

An inadvertent briefing with incomplete information... That's the reason Mike Flynn gave as he broke a record for the shortest tenure of any key White House official. Flynn, known for occasionally propping up fake news was ultimately brought down by real news: "Flynn stepped down amid mounting pressure on the Trump administration to account for its false statements about Flynn's conduct after The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had so mischaracterized his communications with the Russian diplomat that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow." From WaPo: Mike Flynn resigns as national security adviser.

+ Flynn Through the Out Door: A month ago, the acting attorney general informed the Trump administration "that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador" and that Flynn was therefore vulnerable to blackmail. That acting attorney general: Sally Yates. (The same person Trump fired for refusing to defend the ban.)

+ In a highly anticipated tweet. Trump argued that "The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?" (Pretty sure those leaks will be coming from the busboy at Mar-a-Lago.) Trump is right about one thing. His administration leaks more than the Oroville Dam.

+ 10 unanswered questions after Michael Flynn's resignation.

+ "Aides said they strive to avoid appearing 'weak' or 'low­ energy' -- two of Trump's least favorite attributes." Upheaval is now standard operating procedure inside the White House. Maybe it's time to Putin, the A team. Wait, I mean put in the A team...

+ Does this mean that Omarosa is one step closer to the presidency?


Choice Dealers

"The Green Angels, she tells me, are selling a fantasy of an attractive, well-educated, presentable young woman who wants to get you high -- a slightly more risqué Avon lady. Not all of the Angels are working models, but they are all young and attractive. In eight years, they have never been busted by the cops. The explanation is simple: Good-looking girls don't get searched." GQ's Suketu Mehta on the many advantages of being an attractive weed dealer: Queens of the Stoned Age.

+ Speaking of pot dealers, I'll be interviewing the creators of the HBO's High Maintenance this Saturday at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. It will be worth it for the contact high alone.


Boston Spree Party

If you're looking to shoot someone and get away with it, you might consider heading to Boston. The city has a very low gun violence arrest rate. According to Boston Magazine, during a three year period, "Boston police ... arrested fewer than 4 percent of gunmen involved in non-fatal shootings." Boston Is a Shooters' Paradise.


Motion is Lotion

Surgery can sometimes do more harm than good. "Scans, like an M.R.I., for diagnosis are worse than useless." And heavy pain killers like opioids are gradually being removed as a first-line of defense. Basically if you have a back pain, the new advice is "take two aspirin and don't call me in the morning."


A River Might Run Through It

"With more storms expected to slam Northern California later this week, officials worked frantically Monday to drain water from brimming Lake Oroville in hopes of heading off a potentially catastrophic flood." More than 100,000 people are still under evacuation orders as officials look to release pressure on the Oroville Dam before more rain comes. Here's the latest from the LA Times.

+ Quartz: Authorities were warned that the Oroville Dam was at risk of collapse 16 years ago.


Wedding Crashers

"The State Department pointed to the developing world, where 1 in 3 girls is married by age 18, and 1 in 9 is married by 15." But child marriage is not only a problem abroad. Many states don't have laws against the practice. Why does the United States still let 12-year-olds get married?


Cold Case

"The case caused a national furor at the time, and became a permanent part of the city's psyche. Etan became one of the first missing children to be pictured on milk cartons." Nearly forty years after the crime, Pedro Hernandez has been found guilty in the killing of Etan Patz. (But it took two trials and endless deliberations to get this verdict...)


They Were all Yellow

"The nurse immediately shouted for my help to resuscitate the baby, which I rushed to do -- and it soon started crying healthily, maintaining oxygen concentration without assistance. Without the oximeter, that would not have happened." Mosaic on the little yellow box that's made thousands of operations safer.


Say Cheese

"Yes, Snap is a camera company. It's just that the camera isn't a camera anymore." Many observers were surprised when Snap (parent of Snapchat) described itself as a camera company ahead of its IPO. As Om Malik explains, the camera is one of the key ways we interact with each other, and with the internet.

+ Cameras aren't the only way you're being watched. From Bloomberg: New office sensors know when you leave your desk.

+ And from Quartz: Employers are creepily analyzing your emails and Slack chats to see if you're happy. (Maybe you're not happy because you're being spied on all day?)


Bottom of the News

"Playboy will always be a lifestyle brand focused on men's interests, but as gender roles continue to evolve in society, so will we." Playboy is losing its tagline, and bringing back nudity. (It's been weird going all this time without having anywhere to find dirty pictures.)

+ For Valentine's Day, here's an article on Acrovinyasa yoga: How to bring calm and serenity to a strained relationship. (If you and your partner are still flexible enough to perform these poses, I'm guessing your relationship is fine.)

+ Hooters opened its first Hoot, in a move that could lead to a new chain of more casual restaurants. (That's what I always hated about Hooters. Too fancy!)